If you ever wanted to put your truth out there and hesitated due to the response you feared you’d get, hesitate no longer. Just ask Jocelyn + Roland Kirouac of Ümlaut Brooklyn. Although this range has a reputation for having the proverbial potty mouth, their product actually doesn’t contain a lot of profanity.
What it does have, however, is the couple’s uncensored and occasionally shocking take on the world around them. Thus, while their stationery is practically guaranteed to make you laugh out loud — “outrageous times deserve outrageous cards” is their working mantra — their Instagram feed reflects their belief that it’s impossible to separate your personal views and politics from your creativity.
COVID-19 continues to color their approach to exhibiting in person at markets. For Jocelyn and Roland, the plague is not yet over. While they hope and plan to return to in-person market appearances — a notion I heartily endorse! — for now they’re relying on those often-overlooked sales dynamos, road reps. They have so many, they can’t name them all — and these “trade shows on wheels” literally drive their wholesale sales, even on Faire.
Finally, nearly every brand is expected to have a cause-related element, but Ümlaut Brooklyn carefully considered the inroads they wanted to pave before establishing their Young Artist Grant. Their philanthropic approach is as heartfelt as their cards are zany, and I’m hoping other makers in our community are inspired to similarly nurture the next generation of creatives!